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Split Shift Becomes Split Personality for Area Resident

November 29, 2016 10:46 am
Split Shift Becomes Split Personality for Area Resident

What do you do you do when you have a long break between your split shift? Well, if you’re Doug Hempstead, you develop a split personality!

CBC traffic reporter by day, musician by whenever he has the time for it, Hempstead isn’t at a loss for ways to occupy his time and the “road life” suits him just fine no matter which career he’s pursuing at the moment. Most of the time it’s both!

You may recognize Doug’s voice if you get your traffic updates on the CBC while listening to Ottawa Morning or All In A Day. He gets up to percolate some coffee before sunrise and gets into work usually before most of us are even awake. He’s tweeting while you’re taking your morning shower and filing his first traffic report for the morning drivers shortly before 6 AM. He keeps them updated every 15 minutes until about 8:35.

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Photo by by Chris Hofley.

His next report comes nearly 7 hours later so Doug heads back to his Bells Corners home. There he has time to clean the place, walk the dog and create an alter-ego called Area Resident who plays multiple instruments and records a full length rock album in his basement. Did I mention he’s also married and helps raise two teen daughters?

That’s Doug Hempstead’s All In A Day!

“I’m constantly telling colleagues about my new songs, releases and gigs,” Hempstead tells Ottawa Life on how it’s not always easy to keep both lives separate. “My co-workers are incredibly supportive and interested in my music.”

Growing up, he was a fan of Elton John. Still is. He calls John’s Greatest Hits album a bit of a guilty pleasure. He didn’t start learning music himself until high school where took up the bass. He continued dabbling, playing in a few bands off and on, before entering into a successful career in journalism. Music didn’t pay the bills but journalism did. Over his award-winning career he has been a photojournalist, newspaper editor, designer, TV videographer and worked with the Ottawa Sun for 6 years before landing the gig with the CBC.

Music was always on the brain, however, and it shows in the traffic reporters first release. He wrote a song (“Concrete Caravan”) about the Rideau Street sinkhole! Other songs found inspiration in his hometown of Pembroke (“About Six Years”) and about watching yourself age in the social media age (“Falling Collapsing Looking Back”). There’s even a tune about how he bought stock in a medicinal marijuana company with some of his pension money from the Sun.

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While song ideas are seemingly found everywhere, it did take a little encouragement from another local musician, however, who provided the jumper cables needed to really get Hempstead motivated.

“I reached out to Jim Bryson and went to his Fixed Hinge home studio for a visit. I wanted to show him my music to see if it was worthwhile pursuing and he was very encouraging. Here’s a guy who is my age — daughters, married, modest house in the west end… and the guy makes the most incredible music. I was inspired, driven. I went home and the very next day, recorded the first song for what ended up being an album.”

fullsizerender-1Settling on the name Area Resident because of its ties to his journalism career, the album came together over the next few months with Hempstead playing nearly all the instruments and tweeking tracks in his home studio whenever he found some free time. Pick any track on the album and you wouldn’t think the musician playing is self-taught but Doug only took lessons on the bass. Everything else was just trial and error, something that factors into his writing process as well.

“I don’t write songs before I record them. They’re written as they’re recorded… like a pottery wheel.”

The result gives the album a more organic feel, kind of like a live album without the audience. Though there are other players on the release, Hempstead says he opted to go most of it alone due mainly to the simplicity of being able to move at his own pace.

“If there’s such a thing as a hap hazard, lazy perfectionist… it’s me.”

Perhaps the comedic irony of Hempstead’s unique recording process for this album is how the songs translate live. Well, if they translate live!

“The odd thing — these songs have been recorded, but have never been performed. I have to learn them. I don’t know how to play them.”

At the moment, morning commuters have nothing to worry about. Doug Hampstead isn’t quitting his day job but with the DIY-style first release in the tank one has to wonder how long it’s going to be before his reporting of life on the road becomes a life on the road for himself!

SENATORS: A Week in Review – November 21-27, 2016

November 28, 2016 8:11 pm
SENATORS: A Week in Review – November 21-27, 2016
ottawa_senatorsSENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column
looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators
hockey written by #OLMSports Dave Gross.

Images from NHL.com.

Not a shocker – Craig Anderson named on Monday as the NHL’s first star of the week.

What is a shocker? The idea that Anderson is not included in the list of the league’s top netminders. Check any TV panel vote or any newspaper writer’s opinion piece and you hear the names Carey Price (justifiably) then Henrik Lundqvist then Braden Holtby then Jonathan Quick then Tuukka Rask then Corey Crawford . . . even Anderson’s old crease-mates Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner get noticed first. Sports Illustrated in fact conjured its own list prior to this season and had Ottawa’s chief keeper rated 24th in the league (Bishop and Lehner were ranked higher).

24th?

If the NHL ever developed a trophy for unappreciated players, Ottawa’s goaltender could have his face plastered on it.

Fact is – if not for Anderson, the Senators don’t plow through November (prior to Tuesday’s Buffalo game) on a 9-4-1 tear.

Fact is – you probably would have to turn those numbers around if not for Anderson.

He’s been that good, and really, he’s been that good since arriving to the nation’s capital from Colorado in the 2011 season.

Anderson doesn’t have the luxury of a Ken-Hitchcock-type defence in front of him. Frankly, Ottawa’s defensive zone has been a minefield since Anderson landed here, and oddly enough, he seems to relish the busy-work.

And that is likely the reason he is labeled “oft-injured.” Fighting off continual assault can do that to the human body.

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And you can yammer on all you like about Erik Karlsson being this team’s MVP; your yammering would be incorrect.

At 12-4-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and lofty .936 save percentage, Anderson’s the guy.

He’s the most important guy on this team right now. Period.

* Got a chuckle out of former Senator Matt Puempel’s comments in Larry Brooks’ piece in the New York Post. He might be wrong; he might be right, but in the Good Book of Hockey (you know: the ‘code’) it’s just not something you do . . . especially if you haven’t done squat in nearly six years of playing pro.

* Looking back at that 2011 NHL draft where Ottawa had three of the top 24 picks (Puempel was picked 24th), you’d have to qualify it as a disappointment – and that might be an understatement. Mika Zibanajed (6th overall) is now a Ranger as well and Stefan Noesen (21st) is in Anaheim’s organization. This was supposed to be the beginning of Ottawa’s major rebuild and none of their first-rounder’s remain in the organization. Don’t forget Shane Prince too. The Sens’ second-rounder from ’11 was traded to the Islanders last season.

* The get-back on those players makes for good hot stove debate. Zibanajed and a 2nd for Derick Brassard and a 7th has been all New York so far (Zibanajed had five goals and 10 assists in 19 games before being injured; Brassard has struggled finding his way – three goals, six assists in 22 games). Add those numbers to this one: Zibanajed is six years younger than Brassard.

* Noesen, Jakob Silfverberg and a 1st (Nick Ritchie) went to the Ducks for Bobby Ryan. Ryan’s never truly hit his stride in Ottawa and carries an enormously expensive ticket (he signed a seven-year contract extension worth $50.75 million US two years ago). Ryan turns 30 in March and has but three goals in the first 20 games. Noesen’s knee troubles have limited him greatly – he’s playing in the AHL currently. Ritchie is a young banger with potential (five goals in 20 games with the Ducks), but the steal is Silfverberg whose overall game is impressive. Defensively sound with some offensive upside (seven goals so far), you won’t find a smarter hockey player.

* As for Puempel? We’ll see.

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WEEK THAT WAS:

Tuesday: Ottawa 4, Montreal 3
Thursday: Ottawa 3, Boston 1
Saturday: Ottawa 2, Carolina 1
Sunday: Ottawa 2, NY Rangers 0

WEEK AHEAD:

Tuesday: Buffalo at Ottawa (7:30 pm)
Thursday: Philadelphia at Ottawa (7:30 pm)
Saturday: Florida at Ottawa (7 pm)

Disrupting Private Equity: A Canadian’s Perspective

10:54 am
Disrupting Private Equity: A Canadian’s Perspective

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by raising a series of small amounts of funds from a large sum of people over a medium such as the Internet. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are popular websites that allow users to campaign by proposing their project and solicit funds for the initiative. These campaigns can vary from feature film projects, musical productions, to inventions and now business ventures via equity crowdfunding. The four most common forms of crowdfunding are:

(a) the donation model, which is the crowd donating to a project or venture in exchange for nothing of tangible value;

(b) the reward model, which is the crowd donating to a project or venture in exchange for some tangible reward, perk or benefit;

(c) the pre-purchase model, which is the crowd donating to a project or venture in exchange for a future tangible reward, such as a consumer product; and

(d) the securities-based model, which the crowd investing in an issuer and its business in exchange for the issuer’s securities, which are often equity securities but may include other types of securities, including debt securities.

Source: Ontario Securities Commission, Companion Policy 45-108CP Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding in Canada allows privately held businesses to raise capital from a pool consisting of a large number of investors through an online portal registered with the securities regulatory authorities. Canadian businesses could raise up to $1.5 million during a 12-month period in select jurisdictions. The crowdfunding regime is aimed primarily at start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises based in Canada.

The Evolution of Crowdfunding in Canada

I work with and advise Ontario businesses so let us begin by breaking down what it would take for an Ontario business owner looking to explore equity crowdfunding. The first step would be to understand the regulatory framework for going down this path. Any plan to raise capital in exchange for equity or debt via a crowdfunding platform is subject to regulation by the Ontario Securities Commission (the “OSC”), the provincial equivalent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Every province and territory has their own securities regulator that falls under the oversight of the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”).

Next the business owner would select the right crowdfunding portal to list their offering. Effective January 2016, the OSC introduced exemptions to allow private businesses to raise capital through online crowdfunding portals registered with the securities regulatory authority, in this case the OSC. Some examples of online crowdfunding platforms approved for Ontario include the following registered exempt market dealers:

**Disclaimer – I have no interest or financial incentive to promote any of the firms listed above. They have been provided for example purposes. 

Additional information regarding the requirements and restrictions of crowdfunding can be found at NCFA Canada – Equity Crowdfunding Regulations.

Besides regulatory requirements, companies and investors alike are subject to crowdfunding portal specific requirements above those required by the OSC. For example, FrontFundr expects a minute book, articles of incorporation; shareholder agreement, central securities register, and detailed business plan including risk assessment. SeedUps on the other hand requires an Offering Memorandum be submitted rather than a robust prospectus. The funding portals are required by law to check directors and officers of the Company for previous securities and disciplinary enforcement, criminal record, bankruptcy, and court record. To date, the funding portals have not disclosed what the related fee/commission to manage the capital raise is. (Estimated to be between 5-10% of total funding amount) The forms of capital eligible to be raised through these platforms include common equity, preferred share equity, debt (notes or bonds), or limited partnership units.

The next step for an interested company is to develop a crowdfunding-offering document that will qualify for a prospectus exemption and permit the company to raise funds through a registered crowdfunding portal. Firms can attempt to prepare the offering document themselves, using the following framework provided by Form 45-108F1 – Crowdfunding Offering document. Otherwise retaining a consultant, lawyer or financial advisor with the relevant experience can improve the probability of a successful campaign.

Investor’s Perspective

Accredited investors[1] will be subject to the following limits, $25,000 per investment, an annual limit of $50,000, and no limit if the investor qualifies as a permitted client[2]. Non-accredited investors (average investor) will be subject to the following limits, $2,500 per investment, and an annual limit of $10,000. The company would have requirements mandated by the OSC to participate in this exempt market as an issuer of securities. This includes requirements to provide investors with annual financial statements, annual notice regarding the use of the proceeds raised under the exemption, and notice in the event of a discontinuation of the issuer’s business, a change in the issuer’s industry or a change of control of the issuer. Please note issuer, business owner, and company have been used synonymously in this report.

The RDM Take

Equity crowdfunding represents the next step in the capital raising process. It creates an agile method for business owners to raise capital that can fund working capital or other capital projects, thereby reducing delays often experienced when courting and partnering with venture capitalists. The process also creates visibility as the company can be promoted and spoken about by participating investors through social media. The trade-off the business owner forgoes is the experiential advice offered by the venture capitalist, which could lead to more rapid business growth. Previously raising funding through crowdfunding could also improve your chances of securing private investment in the future.

The risks involved are not to be taken lightly for either company or investor. The company will be saddled with higher legal and accounting costs required to provide investors with legally required disclosure. In turn, this will apply negative pressure on the firm’s cash flows, possibly leading to slower business growth. Companies have to prepare for the added responsibilities that come along with equity crowdfunding. Crowdfunding too quickly and lacking the right personnel for example can lead to added costs. Certain details of the firm’s operations will be publicized which could be detrimental for firm’s with intellectual property (patents, trade secrets) that are more valuable when kept secret

The investor risks losing their entire investment as the investment into start-ups and small and medium enterprise have a higher risk profile, than traditional publicly traded securities. (Such as public stocks and bonds) The investor will also be committed to their investment and lack the same kind of liquidity (ability to cash in on investment) that traditional private securities have.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The days of relying solely on your local investment banker to raise capital are in the past. This sharing economy application allows companies and individuals to connect with one another without relying on the traditional agents that have governed access to capital until now.

As Uber provides the de facto alternative to taxi transit, equity crowdfunding can become the de facto alternative to private company investing.

[1] According to the OSC, an accredited investor is an individual who alone or with spouse owns financial assets of $1 million or more before taxes but net of related liabilities, or whose net income before taxes exceeded $200,000 in both of the last two years and expects to maintain that same level of income this year.
[2] A permitted client is an investor with net financial assets exceeding $5 million.

 

unnamed-147x200David A. Pickett is the Finance Director for RDM Management Group and a former equity research associate from a large Canadian Broker Dealer. He studied his MBA at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business with a focus in Finance and Business Valuation and his interests include history, business, baseball, and board games.

40 Years in the Making: Redblacks Win Grey Cup!

November 27, 2016 10:41 pm
40 Years in the Making: Redblacks Win Grey Cup!

Image courtesy of Ottawa Redblacks.

The detractors will inevitably give excuses of varying degrees of legitimacy — Ottawa’s losing regular-season record, Calgary slotback Marquay McDaniel’s first-quarter injury, etc. — but it matters not.

The Ottawa REDBLACKS triumphed on Sunday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Toronto’s BMO Field, edging the powerhouse Calgary Stampeders 39-33 in overtime.

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The city’s first Grey Cup since 1976 was delivered in a fashion that reflected the trying last 40 years for Ottawa football fans. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of championships — a hairy fourth quarter built on a nervous East Division final built on an unsteady regular season — but when it mattered most, the REDBLACKS came through.

Despite losing a 20-point second-half lead on Sunday, Ottawa showed its resiliency, just as its fans did three years ago in returning to the Lansdowne seats after suffering through some very, very lean years of football in the nation’s capital.

It was the kind of victory that immediately brought on story time, whether it was in the Twittersphere or at sports bars across the city. Tales from 1976 — and earlier — echoed as people placed their heroes of yesteryear next to the city’s newly-minted champions. Names like Ernest Jackson, who bobbled and eventually hauled in the eventual game-winning score, and Henry Burris, the charismatic, 41 year-old gunslinger fighting against time.

The latter’s performance was nothing short of remarkable. After a mixed bag of results throughout 2016, Burris — who has been playing professional football longer than a small but significant portion of REDBLACKS fans have been alive — put in his best shift of the season on Sunday when it mattered the most.

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It was a remarkable win based on the sheer numbers entering the Grey Cup. At 15-2-1, the Stampeders’ starters hadn’t lost a game since Week 1 and appeared, understandably, as a nine- or ten-point favourite depending on the market. At 8-9-1, and having nearly fallen to Edmonton in the East Division’s snow bowl of a final the week before, few pundits and experts were giving Ottawa much of a chance.

But Ottawa raced out to a 20-7 lead at the half, having beaten Calgary in every phase and shaken the confidence of star Stampeder quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. The CFL’s best regular season team stormed back in the second half, with Mitchell, running back Jerome Messam and co. battling back to improbably tie the game at 33.

Had there been a few more minutes on the clock, Calgary likely would have continued their second-half roll and claimed the championship that many — including myself — had already given them prior to kick-off.

But it wasn’t meant to be for the Stampeders; this was the REDBLACKS’ night, and following Jackson’s overtime touchdown, Calgary’s offence never moved from the Ottawa 35-yard line.

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Much will be written in the coming days. Stories of nostalgia, of former players wrestling with their scars from their own championships, of the deeper meaning of sport.

But what must be written today is the fact that Ottawa, for the first time in nearly two generations, is a championship football town.

Its fans have been all along.

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